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Chopped Kale Salad with Apples, Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette

Chopped kale salad with apples, pecans and maple vinaigrette is a great alternative to coleslaw. Manservant didn’t believe me until he tried this!

A chopped kale salad may not seem like something to get excited about, but when I made this for friends and family, everyone loved it.

Zoe  decided that after Thanksgiving, we needed some healthy food to go with our turkey sliders. I’m not joking.

Those sliders with cheese and green chili were good. But the kale salad had everyone coming back for seconds.

Even Manservant who’s always told me that he’d much rather have a spinach salad than kale came back for more. I do though, understand where he is coming from.

However if you treat your kale right and give it some love, you just might convert those non believers. I know I did.

Chopped kale salad with apples and nuts and pomegranates, cranberries or dried cherries, tossed with this incredible maple balsamic vinaigrette is totally loveable.

If you’ve read many of my posts regarding salads, I’m sure you’ve seen this maple balsamic vinaigrette pop up before.

Well, let me tell you a secret. It’s worth it.

I actually buy the maple balsamic vinegar near here at a totally outstanding olive oil and vinegar shop. I’m not being paid to say this stuff. I just love it.

Chopped Kale Salad

So what exactly makes a good kale salad? A really good massage and lots of chopping. The kale, that is. I chose to use a redbor or Red Russian kale. Pretty and ruffly and purple, this kale would also make part of a great centerpiece. 

How to Make a Chopped Kale Salad Taste Good:

Begin by cutting out the giant rib from the center of the kale leaf. Stack the leaves, roll them up  and slice or julienne until the pieces are fairly fine. Then chop them quite fine.

Now time for a massage. Not for me. For the kale.

When tossing a kale salad, you really want to get those chopped kale leaves soaked with dressing. But don’t add too much. You can always add more before serving.

Experiment with different types of kale. Some are stronger and earthier than others. 

Most kales are best while they are young and some become sweeter after a frost. Some like lacinato, have a bitter overtone and do great with citrus.

Chopped Kale Salad

So why kale?

Kale is considered a nutrient dense food. Loaded with Vitamin A, K and C; there are also 3 grams of protein in every cup.

There is more Vitamin C in 1 cup of kale than in an orange. To read more on kale, check this out.

Besides health benefits,  my favorite  is that a kale salad keeps for a few days.

It doesn’t start spewing out moisture like my close friend, Mr. Cabbage. Kale knows how to keep it together!

A chopped kale salad is a great change from coleslaw.

In fact, there are some, who might think it is coleslaw. No need to spill the beans. Or kale, that is!

Chopped Kale Salad

Where can I get this maple vinegar?

I buy my maple vinegar at a store here in Denver called EVOO that sells it. If you want to shop on Amazon, this looks similar. I love salad tongs and these are great! A great salad bowl? I prefer something simple like this white one.

This post contains affiliate links for which I may, or may not, be paid a small percentage at no cost to you.

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Chopped Kale Salad

Chopped Kale Salad with Apples, Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: O Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 Minutes
  • Yield: About 10 side dish servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chop
  • Cuisine: American


Chopped kale salad with a maple vinaigrette, pecans and apples is a great alternative to coleslaw.



2 bunches kale (I used redbor) which should be about 8 c chopped

2 apples, sliced and diced (I slice the apple in apple shaped slices. Then I stack the slices and cut them into squares.)

1 bunch scallions, chopped fine

4 oz container pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries

4 oz crumbled feta

1 c chopped toasted pecans


3 cloves minced garlic

1 T Dijon mustard

1/3 c maple balsamic vinegar

Salt and Pepper

2/3 c olive oil plus 3 T


Begin by making the vinaigrette.

Combine garlic, mustard, maple vinegar and salt and pepper in a large measuring cup. Whisk to combine.

Slowly drizzle in olive oil until, an emulsion is formed.

Place kale in a large salad bowl.

Drizzle about 1/3 c over kale leaves and use your hands to massage into leaves.

Add rest of salad ingredients together to the bowl with the kale, reserving a few pecans, apples, pomegranates or cranberries, and cheese for sprinkling on top.

Toss with more dressing if needed and add more salt or pepper to taste.


Different types of kale taste differently. Taste a few and figure out what you like.


Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


Wednesday 3rd of January 2024

Awesome salad.


Wednesday 3rd of January 2024

Thanks Vicki. Glad you enjoyed. We love it too!


Monday 16th of January 2023

Very good. I made it for me and a coworker and she said it was the best salad she ever had and wants me to make it for her dinner party. She then asked for the recipe to make it for her son. It's a keeper for sure.


Monday 16th of January 2023

Thanks Dawn! I love it when people love kale! And it is a great salad for a party because it keeps so well!


Friday 21st of October 2022

Very good changed dressing,added walnuts,no onion. We ate two servings


Friday 17th of January 2020

Delicious ingredients! I've made chopped kale salad before but never one with a sweet and savory flavor so it's going on my list to try...Thank you!


Wednesday 15th of January 2020

If this outclassed the green chile sliders then is has to be good. :) So simple but looks at all those flavors. What a great salad Abbe!


Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Crack me up! Those sliders were good! Now I have to make more and post them! But the kale salad really had them chomping!